The rules that apply in Alert Levels can be found here. Information on the current situation is provided by the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website here.

The WanderSearch programme was approved, on 10 April 2020 as an Essential Health Service along with the supply chain (BDE and Wandatrak – Ian Trethowen). This applies in Alert Level 3 and 4.

Approval from Ministry of Health 10 April 2020

The conditions under which Groups can undertake device issues/replacements:

  1. The client/family/carer must be contacted prior to any visit to issue/replace a device as you would normally do to check on the continuing need for the device, any hazards that maybe present including if anyone is sick, and if they would prefer to postpone any visits until the alert level has changed.
  2. If you decide after consultation with your local Police SAR that a device does need to be issued/replaced, you have the options:
    1. Preferably delivering/picking devices to/from the person’s letterbox or front door and giving instructions on how to fit the device remotely (by phone or video link for example).
    2. If you are not satisfied that the family/carer will be able to fit the device correctly to the person after instruction and there is no other choice you can fit the device onto the person at a home visit. You must follow your Group’s Health and Safety process and MOH COVID-19 guidelines for personal contact during the current Covid-19 Alert Level.
  3. The Ministry of Health has required that the National Safer Walking Coordinator (Clare Teague) maintains a register of all home personal visits by group members detailing the name of the group member visiting, the address to be visited and the date and time of visits. Furthermore, groups need to advise Clare in advance of any visits so that should you be stopped by Police, Clare can verify that you are authorised. To comply with this requirement please email Clare at with the words home visit in the subject line.  In the body of the email, put the name of the person (group member) that is doing the visit, the address that is to be visited and time and date that you will be doing the visit.
  4. You will also need to have a copy of the email authority from the Ministry of Health when you are out delivering devices.


The Op COVID19 Logistics team at PNHQ have agreed to the supply of PPE to WanderSearch groups to facilitate the work they do in the supply of pendants to vulnerable members of the community.

The process for WanderSearch Groups to be issued PPE is as follows:

  1. Make contact with your usual Police District SAR liaison requesting PPE kit (gloves, masks, and hand sanitiser should suffice in the present environment).
  2. If you request PPE beyond this (i.e., goggles, gowns, overalls etc.) then the Police will apply a robust TENR (risk assessment tool) to confirm your proposed course of action is appropriate and consistent with MOH guidelines

Thanks to Police and NZSAR who have been of great assistance in getting this approval completed.